Over the March 2023 quarter, Widgie has been progressing both the nickel and lithium assets present within its Mt Edwards project in Western Australia.

On the lithium front, the receipt of drill assays confirming the consistent presence of shallow, lithium-bearing pegmatites at the Faraday deposit allowed the company to define a maiden resource of 481,000t grading 0.59% Li2O in the Starter Pit location.

Importantly for Widgie Nickel (ASX:WIN), the Starter Pit is expected to be ready to produce direct shipping ore in the second half of this year with significant potential for additional lithium growth through both expansion of Faraday and exploration across its broader tenure.

On the nickel front, the resources at the Gillett deposit were expanded by 20% to 1.56 million tonnes grading 1.5% nickel, or 23,400t of contained nickel.

Further growth is expected as drilling, such as the rich intercept of 51m at 0.74% nickel from 75m at Widgie Townsite that was reported subsequent to the quarter and ranked amongst the top nickel hits of April 2023 by MinerDeck, continues to expand the scale and confidence of the nickel mineralisation.

“The March quarter was an extraordinarily busy but fruitful period for Widgie as we enhanced our pipeline of value accretive opportunities across both lithium and nickel,” managing director Steve Norregaard said.

“Our maiden lithium MRE at Faraday marked a major milestone and puts us in an exclusive group of just over a dozen mining companies with proven lithium resources in Australia.

“Faraday is ideal for the near-term DSO opportunity with its shallow dipping near surface and unconstrained attributes, and there is substantial further lithium growth potential ahead.

“The scale and quality of our nickel resource base is also growing swiftly, with no signs of slowing down. After expanding the Gillett Deposit early in the March quarter, we have already confirmed the presence of significant nickel mineralisation outside of the current Gillett Resource and the broader Widgie South Resource area.”

Lithium work

Widgie has started design work on the Starter Pit, which is already validating Faraday as a potential low-cost mining operation, with minimal strip ratio, due to its shallow dip and the outcropping nature of the resource.

The company also notes that the Faraday resource remains unconstrained with field mapping confirming the pegmatite extends at least 300m further to the north of the maiden resource envelope, more than doubling the potential strike extent of Faraday.

Late in the quarter, it started an aggressive drill program to grow the resource and upgrade the remainder of the resource to the higher confidence Indicated category.

Widgie has also started an eight-hole program to test the lithium potential of its Voyager prospect, which is about 3.5km northeast of Faraday.

Nickel growth

While the upgraded nickel resource, which includes the quantification of the palladium and platinum endowment of 8,515oz and 4,007oz respectively, is already encouraging, there is potential for significant nickel mineralisation outside of the updated and current Gillett resource.

This potential encompasses new intercepts in the highly prospective corridor between Gillett and the Gillett North prospect, as well as new intercepts below the northern end of the current resource, which indicates that mineralisation remains open down dip and plunge.

As at the end of the quarter, 23 pre-collars at Gillett and 7 pre-collars at Gillett North have been drilled in preparation for diamond tails.

This diamond drilling will target higher grades within the Gillett resource wireframes and test for strike extensions to the south.

Assays from this drilling will be included in a resource upgrade targeted in the second half of 2023 for all the Widgie South resources, which represents the proposed second production source for the company.

During the March quarter, Widgie also progressed feasibility studies at the Armstrong deposit, which is set to be its first production-ready nickel deposit.

All preparation work for the Final Feasibility Study is set to be completed in the current quarter, including pit dewatering activities.





This article was developed in collaboration with Widgie Nickel, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.